I’ve covered the United Nations for 7 years as a reporter, and I must say, of all the perceived international threats to American freedom, I find the Agenda 21 fixation among the most curious. I guess I must attribute this to its name, which admittedly sounds sinister. The actual document, however, is a fairly innocuous and completely non-binding list of recommendations for developing countries on how to grow their economies without destroying their environment. No one can enforce it on anyone else, and if there’s a follow-up statement at the forthcoming Rio+20 summit, that won’t have any enforcement power either. This is also true for statements and reports from the ICLEI or IUCN. The real threat is not that Agenda 21 will be used to conquer the earth, but that the more useful suggestions for developing countries will be ignored. So if Nancy Pelosi and George H.W. Bush supported implementing many of Agenda 21’s action items in the United States in 1992, it was merely because they considered them good policy, not because they had to.
Furthermore, for those concerned about the UN’s threat to American liberty, it’s also worth noting that:
a) The United Nations Charter explicitly disallows any action that violates the sovereignty of a member state except by Chapter 7 Security Council resolution, and the United States, as a Security Council permanent member, can veto anything the Council does. Not only that, but so can Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France. A plot to impose global governance would have to have all 5 of these governments on board, in addition to many other powerful countries. The truth is, the UN’s apparatus was built after World War II and is not surprisingly designed to prevent conflict between nations, not to rule them. It has never, and will never, interfere in the sovereignty of any permanent member, and seldom even in the affairs of an ally of a permanent member. Why? Because each permanent member can veto anything the organization does.
b) Even if it did want to take over the world, the UN is way too bureaucratic, powerless, divided and inefficient to do so. All budget decisions have to be agreed on by all 193 countries who are UN members. Any of the aforementioned Permanent 5 members can veto anything of substance. It took the organization 15 years to agree on a plan to renovate its own dilapidated headquarters, for crying out loud, and its top officials routinely have to crawl to member states begging for extra helicopters to help keep the peace in war-torn places like Eastern Congo and South Sudan. The UN also has to borrow its peacekeepers from other nations and currently has over 100,000 of them in the field, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, yet its peacekeeping budget is 1/100th of America’s military budget. Trust me, there’s no threat to our freedom here.